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DIY Aluminum Window Replacement, Step by Step

Monday, November 2, 2015

DIY Aluminum Window Replacement

Step by Step Aluminum Window Replacement Guide

A few decades ago, aluminum double paned windows were all the rage. They were definitely a lot more energy efficient than wooden single paned windows, and they became practically ubiquitous. Since then, of course, technology has improved a lot. Now the standard window that you can get is vinyl, not aluminum, and it is far more energy efficient than the old aluminum frames. Unfortunately, aluminum windows are definitely not the easiest things to get back out. If you want to do DIY aluminum window replacement, here are the steps you need to follow to get that old aluminum window out and replace it with something newer and better.

  1. Remove the bottom pane. This is probably the easiest part. Unlock the bottom pane, if it has a locking mechanism on both sides next to the sash itself. Some need to be unscrewed instead of unlocked. Once the bottom pane is unlocked or unscrewed, lean it backwards and gently take it out of the sash so that you have an empty spot in the bottom of the window.

  2. Remove the top pane. This is a little trickier. The top pane is held in with silicone caulk and was never designed to be removed. You are going to need to use a razor blade to cut through the silicone and remove the glass. After this, all that will be left is the window frame.

  3. Prepare to remove the window frame. Take your razor blade and run it along the interior of the aluminum frame to make sure that there is no paint connecting the frame with the sill. You do not want to tear off a big swath of paint when you go to pull the frame out.

  4. Smash the center support and remove it. This is where it gets fun. Let your inner Hulk out and smash the center support bar. Of course, it’s aluminum, so it won’t require super strength to break it, but you can still have fun.

  5. Unscrew the window frame from the sides. This part is pretty self-explanatory – reach into the sides of the window frame and remove all the screws you can find so that you will be able to pull the frame out of the window.

  6. Remove the frame. This may require specialized tools, depending on exactly how the aluminum window frame was installed. You will need to pull the frame out of the wood without damaging the wood, so it can be a tricky process. It is ok to bend the aluminum frame to get it out, since you will not be using it again. In fact, you are probably going to have to bend it quite a bit to get it out.

  7. Widen the cuts in the wood. Measure the space needed by the new vinyl windows. Aluminum frames were often made to be much thinner than vinyl frames are nowadays, so you may need to use a saw to widen the space to accommodate your new vinyl windows.

  8. Prepare the space for the new window. Clean everything that needs to be cleaned, replace any wood that needs to be replaced, and fill any holes that might be there. Then go ahead and insert your new window according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  9. Enjoy your new window! Not only is your new window going to be significantly more attractive than your old, outdated aluminum windows, but you’re probably going to see a significant savings on your energy bill too. For the best in energy saving windows, check out our selection at The Glass Experts and find out how we can help you make your home more beautiful and energy efficient at the same time!